Is Vinegar Good for You to Drink?

Vinegar owes its pungent odor and sour flavor to acetic acid, a compound with numerous potential health benefits. As a result, drinking small amounts of vinegar, either plain or mixed with water, can be good for you. Often used as a flavor enhancer or food preservative, vinegar is sometimes touted as a cleaning agent or disinfectant. Vinegar contains 3 calories per tablespoon and only negligible amounts of any nutrients.

Vinegar and oil in a bottle. Credit: emregologlu/iStock/Getty Images

Benefits

The amount of acetic acid in 1.5 tablespoons of white vinegar can help reduce spikes in blood sugar if you take it with high-carbohydrate foods, according to a study published in 2005 in the "European Journal of Clinical Nutrition." In addition, drinking vinegar with food may help you feel fuller longer.

Risks

Avoid excessive amounts of vinegar and always take it with food. As a 2006 review in "Medscape General Medicine" indicates, too much acetic acid can cause inflammation and damage in your digestive tract, particularly if you take it without food.

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